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Massachusetts Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Everything you need to know about owning a firearm in the state of Massachusetts

Massachusetts State Seal

Massachusetts Reciprocity Map

Last Updated: 2021

Massachusetts Concealed Carry Reciprocity Overview

6.9M

STATE POPULATION

405K

LICENSES ISSUED

5.87%

LICENSE PERCENTAGE

0

STATES HONORED

21

MINIMUM AGE TO CC

6

YEARS LICENSE VALID

27

RECIPROCATING STATES

NO

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY

3

CC CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

It’s always a good idea to learn about local gun laws so you can stay on the right side of the law while exercising your Second Amendment rights. Massachusetts concealed carry laws are in place to ensure every person carrying a firearm has the legal right to do so. The state has may-issue laws, which means local police departments can use discretion when issuing concealed carry licenses, even if you complete all training. 

Massachusetts has 6.9 million residents, of which 405,000, or 5.87%, have a License to Carry (LTC). These permits are requirements for carrying a concealed weapon in the state, and they also act as a purchase permit. A Firearm Identification (FID) card is also valid when purchasing a gun but doesn’t permit concealed carry.

Massachusetts doesn’t honor concealed carry permits from any other state, but nonresidents can apply for an LTC.

Residents must complete a state-approved firearms training course before applying for an LTC. Concealed Coalition offers the education you’ll need to apply for your license in Massachusetts. Contact us for more information on the courses we have in your area. 

Massachusetts Concealed Carry Classes and Licensing Information

Summary of Massachusetts Gun Laws

Your Massachusetts Gun Rights

State residents at least 18 years old can apply for an FID card and purchase a gun. Those from 14 to 17 can also apply with parental consent but can’t buy a firearm themselves. This permit is necessary for every gun purchase in the state, as is a federal background check.

Massachusetts requires a background check and an LTC or FID for anyone wanting to buy a gun from a licensed dealer or private seller. Private sellers must verify the buyer’s information with the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services before finalizing the transfer, while dealers contact the FBI for a NICS background check. 

Massachusetts concealed carry is only legal with an LTC, and your state permit is honored in 27 other states. Those visiting Massachusetts must apply for an LTC through State Police Firearms Records Bureau to carry a weapon. Here’s a look at some local laws:

Open Carry in Massachusetts

Open carry is technically legal in Massachusetts with an LTC. It’s an uncommon practice in the state, though, and authorities can charge you with brandishing or menacing and revoke your license if you choose to do so.

Concealed Carry in Massachusetts

You are permitted to carry a concealed weapon in Massachusetts with an LTC. You’ll have to complete a state-approved training course before applying, and guns aren’t allowed in certain locations around the state. A background check and fingerprinting are also part of the process.

Self Defense Laws in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has Castle Doctrine laws allowing you to protect your home with force. You are under no duty to retreat while in your home, but you do have a responsibility to retreat while outside your property. 

Use of Force

You can be charged for using force in Massachusetts because of the state’s duty-to-retreat laws. Using force while in your own home is legal, though, assuming an intruder was a direct threat to you or your family. 

Use of Deadly Force

The use of deadly force is only permissible when there’s an intruder in your home who you believe will kill or seriously harm you or your family. These laws only apply to the interior of your home and exclude common areas such as apartment building hallways.

Protecting Yourself After Use of Force

It’s a good idea to gather information on Massachusetts’ self-defense laws because you could encounter legal issues when using your firearm anywhere in the state. Concealed Coalition includes this information in our training, making it less likely you’ll run into problems.

Massachusetts Gun Laws by Statute

Concealed Coalition is dedicated to dispelling the myths surrounding gun ownership and promoting a culture of understanding, responsibility, and confidence. Our certified instructors are qualified across multiple states, and our online or local training classes provide convenient learning environments run by instructors who care.

Contact us today at (617) 203-7126 or email to discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs..

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Get Certified for A Massachusetts LTC with Concealed Coalition

CONCEALED CARRY BASICS IN MASSACHUSETTS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Does Massachusetts recognize constitutional carry?

No.

Is open carry permitted in Massachusetts?

Yes, it’s legal with a permit. However, it’s extremely uncommon and could be punished through other laws.

If Massachusetts requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

At the local level by police stations.

What is the minimum age in Massachusetts to get a concealed carry license?

21 years old.

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Massachusetts with a concealed carry license (or under permit-less carry if applicable)?

Yes, stun guns.

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Massachusetts?

Yes, with a LTC.

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Massachusetts?

Yes.

Does Massachusetts have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

Yes, no more than 10 rounds.

Does Massachusetts have ammunition restrictions?

Yes, but anyone with a license can purchase all legal forms of ammunition. 

CONCEALED CARRY LOCATIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Where can't I carry a concealed firearm in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has restrictions on where you can carry your firearms, even when you have an LTC.  You cannot take your guns to the following locations:

  • Schools
  • Courthouses
  • Airports
  • When using an off-highway vehicle
  • Any place where prohibited by federal law

These laws change, and authorities can add or remove restrictions, so it’s a good idea to check with any venue before you arrive.

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Massachusetts?

Yes, with an LTC. Unlicensed individuals cannot have a gun in their vehicles.

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Massachusetts?

Yes, with an LTC.

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forest and Wildlife Management Areas in Massachusetts?

Yes, with an LTC.

Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Massachusetts?

Yes, with an LTC.

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Massachusetts?

Yes, although individual businesses can implement restrictions.

Does Massachusetts have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

No law exists, but employers can prohibit it.

IMPORTANT GUNS LAWS IN MASSACHUSETTS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Do you have a duty to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Massachusetts?

No.

Are "No Weapons Allowed? signs enforced in Massachusetts? If, yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If, no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No.

Does Massachusetts have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e., Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

No.

Does Massachusetts have a red flag law?

Yes, a family member or LEO can file a petition requesting the surrender of a firearm, LTC, or FID.

Does Massachusetts state law define brandishing?

No, but carrying a firearm aggressively could lead to charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Does Massachusetts have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or chemical substances?

Yes, you’re prohibited from carrying a weapon while under the influence. 

Does Massachusetts issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

Yes, with completion of an approved training course.

Does Massachusetts allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No.

HANDGUN PURCHASE & POSSESSION IN MASSACHUSETTS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Massachusetts?

Yes, an LTC or FID is necessary for all purchases.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Massachusetts?

Yes, the seller must verify the buyer’s FID.

Does my current Massachusetts concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase firearm? 

No.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Massachusetts?

No, but it could take time for your LTC or FID to arrive.

Do handguns need to be registered in Massachusetts?

No, but the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) records all transfers.

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Massachusetts?

21 years old.

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home in Massachusetts without a license? 

Yes, assuming you’re legally permitted to carry a firearm.

MASSACHUSETTS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE INFORMATION

Concealed Carry Requirements to Register for a License in Massachusetts

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
    Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien
  • Be a suitable person to be issued such license, and have good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property, or for any other reason, including the carrying of firearms for use in sport or target practice only
  • Complete a firearms training course
  • Not have been convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child
  • Not have been committed to a hospital or institution for mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse, unless after 5 years the applicant submits an affidavit from a registered physician endorsing his or her ability to possess a firearm
  • Not be subject to an order of the probate court appointing a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated person on the grounds that the applicant lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage the applicant’s affairs
  • Not be subject to a temporary or emergency restraining order or order of protection
  • Not have any outstanding warrants
  • Not have been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions
  • Not be a fugitive from justice

Fees:

Initial License and Renewals $100

Valid For:

6 years.

Processing Time:

40 days.

Non-Resident Concealed Carry License:

Name & Address Changes:

Complete and mail a copy of the Change of Address Form to all of the following:

  • The licensing authority that issued your firearms license
  • The Chief of Police of the city or town that you moved to
  • The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.

There is also a Firearms License Address Change Hotline at (617) 660-4722.

Lost or Stolen Licenses:

Contact your issuing authority.

Residency Changes:

If a person with a Massachusetts license to carry establishes residency in another state, the license is valid until it expires provided you submit the above referenced change of address form.

MASSACHUSETTS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS

Step Two:

Download the application.

Step Three:

Contact your local firearms licensing office for its specific requirements. Non-residents must apply in-person at the Firearms Records Bureau for first time applicants and then once every 6 years thereafter. You will likely need the following documents:

  • Completed application
  • Firearms safety course certificate
  • Fingerprint cards
  • A form of ID
  • Proof of residency, if required
  • Application fee.

Step Four:

You will be notified by your local licensing authority when your firearms license application has been processed, either by telephone or by mail. You may need to pick up your firearms license in person.

MASSACHUSETTS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS

Overview:

Your LTC is valid for six years. You must submit your renewal application before your license expires, and you’ll have an indefinite grace period while waiting for your new permit.

You’ll want to apply for your LTC or FID before your current one expires to avoid having to retake your educational course and fingerprints. Concealed Coalition has the training you’ll need, though, should you let it go that far. 

LTCs cost $100 for the initial license and renewal, and you can expect it to take as long as 60 days to process. Here’s how you renew:

Step One:

Gather Your Documentation
You’ll have to submit proof of residence, a state-issued ID, and your Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety certificate with your renewal application. You won’t have to retake your training course to renew your LTC.

Step Two:

Fill Out the Renewal Form 
The application form you’ll fill out to renew your license is the same as your first application form. You’ll have to supply your LTC or FID number as part of your application and include a lost or stolen firearms affidavit.

Step Three:

Mail Your Application 
All Massachusetts residents must mail their application forms to the local police station that handles LTC and FID permits. You may have to pick your license up in person from the police department. 

Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement Officers and Retired LEOs

Off-duty law enforcement officers can carry a concealed firearm in the state without any additional certification. Retired police officers can apply for a concealed carry permit in Massachusetts through HR 218, also known as the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). Any instructor certified for LEOSA training by the Massachusetts Department of State Police can conduct the training and issue an ID card. Here’s how it works:

  • The retired officer must complete a firearms training course that satisfies state requirements.
  • A background check is required to ensure the former officer is in good legal standing and has no mental health issues. 
  • The officer must go through live-fire exercises using the exact gun they wish to carry.
  • A LEOSA ID card is provided, permitting the retired officer to carry a concealed weapon in Massachusetts. 

Any off-duty officers looking to carry a concealed weapon in Massachusetts should keep their police ID with them. LEOSA licenses permit concealed carry throughout the country.

Firearms Training & Competency

All the training you need for an FID or LTC in Massachusetts is available through Concealed Coalition. Reach out to us today to learn more about our educational courses.

Completion of a state-approved training course is mandatory before receiving your LTC or FID. Live-fire exercises aren’t a necessary component. Some options you’ll have available include: 

NRA Training

The National Rifle Association provides gun safety training all over the United States. Visit their website and use their locator tool to find the option nearest you.

Hunter Safety Courses

Every hunter 18 and older must complete a Basic Hunter Education course through MassWildlife. Completion of a hunter’s course outside of Massachusetts is also acceptable. 

Firearms Safety Courses From Other Providers

Various public and private institutions throughout Massachusetts offer educational courses. You’ll want to check with the state’s government before registering to ensure it provides the training necessary to receive your LTC or FID.

A Firearms Training Course With a State-Certified Instructor

Massachusetts requires training through a state-approved instructor if you wish to carry your firearm away from your home. It’s also necessary for buying a gun in the state. Concealed Coalition offers the training you’ll need in Massachusetts, ensuring you don’t run into any issues when purchasing a firearm.

DD Form 214 or Military Orders for Active or Former Military Members

Current members of the Massachusetts National Guard or United States military are assumed to have adequate training and aren’t required to complete a state-approved course. This exemption doesn’t apply to discharged military.

Get Certified for a Massachusetts Concealed Carry Permit Today

Our network of firearms professionals are holding training classes and in-person certification courses throughout Massachusetts. Use our certification locator to enroll in an upcoming firearms training course near you today, or visit our Massachusetts concealed carry permitting resource for online certification.

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